I’m writing this just as we’re preparing to leave Melbourne. It’s amazing how time flies and also remarkable how comfortable we become after a month in certain cities. All these faces, places and experiences quickly just become memories. We are off to Jakarta briefly before heading home to Oregon for a bit. We’ve had a stellar time here in Melbourne and can’t wait to return to Australia. We managed to get a few 40°+ days, spent a day at the test cricket at the MCG, visited with family, tried amazing food of vast and varied cuisines and walked one of the most unique and walkable cities we’ve ever been to. It’s fair to say that we love Oz and can’t wait to return but while we’ve been here getting out and about we haven’t had time to share a whole lot of recipes. Fortunately we have the wonderful Amanda from Pickles & Honey to help fill that void.
Pickles & Honey is a plant-based blog filled with smashing recipes and a tremendous amount photos of her dogs Honey & Barley! Amanda shares a variety of recipes on her blog and even has recipes for homemade kombucha! Along with Honey & Barley, Amanda lives with her husband Aaron in Boston – a city we visit twice a year and have a great affinity for. So it’s with great pleasure that I am able to feature her healthy yet decadent Pistachio Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. They’re perfectly indulgent yet bound to fall in line with that new year’s resolution 😉 !
When it comes to sweets, I’m an ice cream girl through and through. I used to crave it year round too, despite the often frigid winters that come with living in Boston. As I get older though, my tolerance for the cold weather seems to be declining. Instead of a thick pair of socks and a hoodie to keep me warm inside, I need to layer two pairs of thick socks plus slippers with a hoodie and a fleece. Side note: as I write this, I’m feeling very envious of Rika traveling in Australia!
Suffice it to say, ice cream this winter has not been happening. Cookies, on the other hand, are my new go-to treat. In the past, I would only ever bake them for family and friends, and now I bake them for me (and family and friends).
I love a classic oatmeal raisin cookie, so for my latest cookie creation, I chose my tried and true oatmeal raisin recipe as the inspiration and then took things to a whole new level with the addition of salted pistachios, golden raisins (my favorite!), and semi-sweet chocolate chips. The result is a chewy oatmeal cookie that’s crispy around the edges, but soft in the center, and loaded to the brim with add-ins. The crunchy, salted pistachios are an excellent juxtaposition to the chewy, sweet golden raisins and the rich dark chocolate chips. I prefer the texture of these cookies best straight out of the fridge, though it’s hard to go wrong with them still warm out of the oven when the chocolate is perfectly melty.
I kept the ingredients wholesome as far as cookies go, using whole grain spelt flour, lower-glycemic coconut sugar, and unsweetened applesauce, which make for a hearty and satisfying, just-sweet-enough dessert. As we transition into the new year and begin to swap heavier foods for lighter, more nourishing fare, these oatmeal cookies are an excellent balance of healthful and decadent, sure to make the cold winter (or any season) more enjoyable.
A big thank you to the lovely Rika and Doni for hosting me on Vegan Miam! I’m in constant awe of your vegan travel adventures, storytelling, and creative recipes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside.
Using a stand or hand mixer, cream together the coconut sugar and buttery spread until light and fluffy. Add the applesauce and vanilla and mix to combine.? Sift in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and sea salt. Add the rolled oats and mix until well-incorporated. Fold in the raisins, pistachios, and chocolate chunks.
Scoop the dough onto your cookie sheets, 2 inches apart, using a heaping tablespoon or cookie dough scoop. Lightly flatten the dough with a spatula. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool slightly, then enjoy! They're also great straight out of the fridge or freezer for a firmer, extra chewy cookie.
About Pickles & Honey
Amanda Maguire is the creator of the plant-based food blog, Pickles & Honey, where she shares practical and delicious recipes. She’s an SEO Manager-turned-Culinary Nutrition Expert and author of the new eBook, SEO for Food Bloggers. Amanda’s writing stems from her food philosophy that what you choose should demonstrate your values, and what you feed your body should also feed your soul.